James, Love help Cavs rout Celtics 117-104 in Game 1

James, Love help Cavs rout Celtics 117-104 in Game 1

James, Love help Cavs rout Celtics 117-104 in Game 1

The reigning National Basketball Association champion Cavaliers toyed with the Celtics in last night's 117-104 final at TD Garden.

A loss on Friday would also leave the Celtics with the formidable proposition of having to win four out of five games to take the Eastern Conference Finals - a almost impossible duty against the Cavaliers that since LeBron James returned to Cleveland in 2014-15 season has a 33-4 postseason record against the Eastern Conference teams.

Cleveland's high scorer was All-Star forward LeBron James, with a game-high 38 points, followed by Kevin Love, who scored 32 points.

James scored at will in the first half and the Cavs built a 26-point lead.

Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder led the Celtics with 21 points each. On the lone one-on-one possession in which Thomas was guarded by James - in the second quarter - the Boston guard was called for a traveling violation after James cut off his driving lane, contested his awkward layup attempt and forced Thomas to catch his own shot, resulting in a turnover.

For Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge, getting the chance to choose this year's NBA Draft top overall pick doesn't mean getting top rookie prospect Markelle Fultz. They didn't want to see us in the second round.

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Love became the second player not named LeBron James to have 30 points and 10 rebounds in a Cavs playoff game, joining Brad Daugherty, who accomplished the feat in 1992. The Celtics rallied some and actually cut their deficit to 11 with the benches cleared in the final minutes.

For his part, Thomas said there doesn't need to be a lot of soul searching. Other times, he simply took defenders off the dribble or sliced through double-teams on the way to layups. Olynyk scored two points in the final minute and had three rebounds Wednesday.

Boston also seemed content to make every switch created by Cleveland screens, leading to some awkward matchups for James in the first half. Lost at home for the first time since Game 2 of first round against Chicago.

The Celtics couldn't get anything working when they had the ball, held to just 35 percent from the field in the first half and 2 for 16 from beyond the arc.

"We can't panic. It's only one game".

He said the help must come often and faster. "Obviously he got comfortable with what we were doing on the defensive end, and he had his way".

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